15 Jun 2018

Asir (Arabian) Magpie – Tanoumah and An Namas

Whilst in the southwest on the Kingdom in May I saw at least five Asir (Arabian) Magpie at two different locations. Old nests were discovered near Tanoumah and near An Namas with adults and at least one juvenile seen near the nests. These birds remain very difficult to photograph and are constantly on the move looking for food. The taxonomic position of Asir (Arabian) Magpie Pica asirensisis uncertain with some authorities regarding it as a full species such as HBW and others not. Two new papers: Deep Phylogeographic Breaks in Magpie Pica picaAcross the Holarctic: Concordance with Bioacoustics and Phenotypes by Alexey P. Kryukov et aland Complete taxon sampling of the avian genus Pica (magpies) reveals ancient relictual populations and synchronous Late-Pleistocene demographic expansion across the Northern Hemisphere by Gang Song et alboth indicated the birds are a separate species to Eurasian Magpie Pica Pica. Arabian Magpies are sedentary and localised and occur in upland valleys and wadis, of the Asir highlands between 1850–3000 m asl. P. asirensisisis a taxon with a very restricted range, confined to a small region within Saudi Arabia where numbers are decreasing probably because of heavy disturbance by tourism and perhaps changes in climate.
Asir (Arabian) Magpie - Pica asirensisis

Asir (Arabian) Magpie - Pica asirensisis

Asir (Arabian) Magpie - Pica asirensisis

Asir (Arabian) Magpie - Pica asirensisis

Asir (Arabian) Magpie - Pica asirensisis

Asir (Arabian) Magpie - Pica asirensisis

Asir (Arabian) Magpie - Pica asirensisis


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